Demolition delay causes tension between crew and West Virginia city

Richwood city officials say a flood-damaged high school can be repurposed.

October 4, 2017
CDR Staff
Demolition Legislation & Regulations
Disagreements about the demolition of a West Virginia high school are causing both sides to threaten legal action, a report by WSAZ says.

Raze International Inc., the Shadyside, Ohio-based contractor billed for the demolition, arrived at Richwood High School in Richwood, West Virginia, Oct. 2 to begin the demolition process when the project was shut down by city officials, the report says. City Mayor Bob Henry Baber says in the report that, despite damage from a June 2016 flood, the building can still be repurposed.

The school administration green lighted the project and awarded Raze the contract in January after the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) finished a historic review of the building and declare 77 percent of it damaged.

Doug Terek, Raze field superintendent, says in the report that the company lost two employees due to the delay. Terek says if the crew can’t work on the project, the company will fine Richwood $2,000 per day of delay. According to the report, Raze began keeping a tab on the city as of Oct. 3.

Terek says the contract with Nicholas County School Board allows Raze to fine any entity holding up the process, but city leaders say they will not have to pay the fine because they were not involved in the agreement.

According to the report, Richwood High School Superintendent Donna Burge-Tetrick says the district still plans to tear the high school down.